Lake Mutanda is located in Kisoro District in southwestern Uganda, approximately 20 kilometers north of the town of Kisoro, where the district headquarters are located. It is nestled in the foothills of the Virunga Mountain Range, at an altitude of 1,800 meters (5,900 ft). The three volcanoes within the range, namely: Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Sabinyo, and Mountain Gahinga, can be viewed from Lake Mutanda. There are several islands in the lake, and it is drained by the Rutshuru River, flowing northward to Lake Edward.
To experience local culture, take a boat ride or a cultural walk to Kyangushu Island. Visit its ancestral burial place and explore the picturesque village of Mukozi. You will be warmly welcomed by the children of the nursery school and have the opportunity to visit a craft maker and a traditional healer. Your trip concludes with a visit to a local bar for a unique taste of the community’s beverages.
Embark on the Batwa trail to learn about the indigenous Batwa pygmy people. Discover their cultural heritage, traditions, dances, language, and way of life. This encounter may require a small fee, and you can arrange it at the resort or in advance with Trek Africa Expeditions. Additionally, the trip includes a visit to the historically significant Garama cave, which is now inhabited by bats.
Canoeing is one of the best activities to do at Lake Mutanda, allowing you to explore the beautiful lake and its breathtaking surroundings. Experience a ride in a traditional dug-out canoe or enjoy a glass of wine on a sunset boat cruise. Alternatively, you can explore the tranquil waters of Lake Mutanda on one of the stand-up paddle boards available.
Lake Mutanda is one of the few bilharzia-free lakes in Uganda, making it safe to swim in. Take a refreshing dip in the lake or relax in the resort’s gardens while soaking up the sun. You can also participate in a serene sunrise yoga session by the lakeshore.
Arrange a boat trip to Mutanda Island during your free time at the resort. The trip takes approximately 2-3 hours and includes a visit to the burial place of Kyangushu, followed by a stop at Mutanda Island, the largest and only inhabited one. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Congo border, Lake Mulehe, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Consider joining other resort guests on this trip to share costs and create a more enjoyable experience together.
For those interested in hiking, Lake Mutanda is close to the Gahinga Ranges, namely: Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Gahinga, and Mountain Muhabura. Depending on your fitness level, you can choose to climb one of these mountains.
Mountain Sabinyo stands at 3,669m and takes about eight hours for the round trip. The hike follows a steep ridge up to the peak, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
Mountain Gahinga, the smallest peak at 3,474m, takes around six hours to ascend and descend. It is topped by a swamp-filled crater surrounded by giant lobelia.
Mountain Muhavura is the highest peak at 4,127m, and the 12km round trip takes approximately eight hours. At the summit, hikers are rewarded with stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes, Lake Edward, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountain. The hike also provides opportunities to spot different tree species, birds, forest elephants, primates, and if you’re lucky, even gorillas in Mgahinga National Park.
Another exciting activity in the environs of Lake Mutanda is Golden Monkey tracking. Uganda is fortunate to be home to these rare primates, and they can be found in Mgahinga National Park. Golden monkey tracking is one of the primary activities that make Mgahinga Gorilla National Park a distinct destination.
The trek begins early in the morning, around 7:00 am, with a briefing at the park headquarters regarding the dos and don’ts while in the forest. You will then start your walk into the forest with park guides and rangers until you find the golden monkeys. During the trek, you’ll have the opportunity to spot these captivating creatures in their natural habitat and view them for one hour.
Golden monkey trekking permits cost USD 100, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority Tariff of 2023. The golden monkeys are unique to East Africa and are only found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda.
To reach Lake Mutanda, you have several options. You can choose a road trip from Kampala or Entebbe, which takes approximately 9-10 hours to reach Kisoro District. The journey offers opportunities to witness the beautiful landscapes, pass through the Equator, and observe local life and shops. Alternatively, you can access the resort from Kigali, Rwanda, through the Cyanika Border, which takes about 5-6 hours and provides diverse scenic attractions along the way. For a quicker option, domestic flights are available from Entebbe International Airport/Kajjansi to Kisoro Airstrip, which is conveniently close to the lakeside resorts and hotels. Daily domestic flights by domestic airline companies are available with morning and afternoon schedules.
Trek Africa Expeditions offers exceptional experiences not only around Lake Mutanda but also throughout Uganda and the broader East African region. You can contact us on email@example.com for their discounted packages and tailor-made trips.
Our expertise in organizing authentic experiences is reflected in our team, which comprises young and energetic staff guided by experienced and passionate Ugandan managers and directors. Trek Africa Expeditions is highly rated and reviewed on platforms like TripAdvisor and Safari Bookings, providing you with insights from previous travelers who have experienced their exceptional services.
In conclusion, Lake Mutanda is a treasure trove of cultural encounters, community experiences, and natural wonders that can be explored after your gorilla trekking adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With Trek Africa Expeditions as your trusted tour operator, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable journey filled with unique and enriching experiences.